The 3,000 Mile Myth

Change your oil every 3,000 miles… you’ve probably heard that a time or two in your lifetime.  Now experts are saying that old rule no longer holds true, and Mother Nature is among those applauding!

“There was a time when the 3,000 miles was a good guideline,” said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for the car site “But it’s no longer true for any car bought in the last seven or eight years.”

Many cars today can go longer without affecting engine wear. Automakers are regularly recommending oil changes at 5,000, 7,000 or even 10,000 miles based on driving conditions.  The idea is catching on, states are even encouraging drivers to pay closer attention to their vehicle’s needs in order to stay greener.

“Yet research conducted by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) shows that nearly three-quarters of Californian drivers change their motor oil more often than automaker recommendations. Following the 3,000 mile myth generates millions of gallons of waste oil every year that can pollute California’s natural resources.  Do your part to help keep California green. Always check your vehicle’s user manual for guidelines on when to change your oil. It will save you money, time and help the environment too. And that’s a change we can all get behind.”  ~

So what’s changed over the last few years?  Oil chemistry and engine technology improvements have a lot to do with it, as do your driving habits.  Stop and go driving as opposed to long bouts of highway driving means more regular oil changes would do your car good.

Obviously some people will remain skeptical when it comes to debunking this so-called hardfast rule we’ve all grown up hearing.  For those of you who fall into that category there is scientific proof to be had!  All you have to do is send out a sample of your oil to Blackstone Laboratories in Fort Wayne, Ind.  For $25 they will analyze your oil and give you their best recommendation for oil changes, as well as a whole host of other bits of knowledge about your vehicle.

If we changed our oil just a few times less each year, think about all of that excess oil NOT going out into the environment!  Now go check out your vehicle’s owner’s manual!

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